News, notes and observations from the Bay Journal staff.
With the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council set to meet Thursday, just 12 days before Christmas, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the region’s largest environmental organization, has sent its wish list for actions it would like to see from cleanup leaders.
In short, CBF said in a letter sent last Friday that it wants to ensure that Bay cleanup efforts stay on track, and that a new watershed-wide Bay agreement be transparent, and accountable.
The letter to the state governors and other senior officials that make up the council also stressed the importance of the states and the EPA holding firm on expensive and controversial efforts to control pollution from stormwater.
Federal agencies are taking comments until Dec. 20 on their draft two-year milestones that would guide their water pollution control activities during 2014–15.
This month, film director Jamie Redford (son of Robert) and his partner, Kirby Walker, have made a film, Toxic Hot Seat, based on the reporting of the Tribune series. It airs on HBO throughout the month and it is terrific. It also has a happy ending. After parents, scientists and public health activists campaigned for a change, California Goc. Jerry Brown ordered the state to revise the standard. Manufacturers will now be allowed to sell furniture without these chemicals, and several have indicated they will be doing so immediately. There is a helpful Q and A about these chemicals, and you can read the entire Chicago Tribune series here. It's called Playing With Fire.
From a Chesapeake Bay perspective, the timing is interesting. The movie comes out shortly after the Chesapeake Bay Program announced it would be looking to come out with a new Bay Agreement this month. It is not yet clear whether this new agreement will address toxics, as Karl Blankenship reported recently. Many human health activists and scientists hope it will. The Bay has had its share of issues with toxic chemicals, among them mercury and PCBS in fish and flame retardants in both fish and birds.
Tips from veteran Chesapeake Bay photographer Dave Harp about how to capture the perfect images from your outdoor travels.
Photographers go to great lengths to make order out of chaos. A good photograph has a strong point of view, clean lines, generally good composition. In this case chaos IS the point. Anyone who has ever witnessed a flock of snow geese erupt into flight knows that the sight and sounds of those birds says chaos to the extreme. This flock was photographed with a 200mm lens, 2x tele extender, Olympus E-5 camera, 1250/sec. @ f5.6. ISO 200. The scene was made at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge just after sunrise, thin cloud cover.
It was a very cold pre dawn January morning along the Choptank River. Out to capture some winter scenes (since we didn't really have winter last year). I found this ice encrusted plant and made a photo in the early morning light. Wanting more drama in the photo I waited until the rising sun barely kissed it and made another exposure. Sometimes is pays to wait for the light.Both photographs were made with an Olympus E-5, 12-60mm lens at 21mm.
I had been out most of the day photographing a pair of seaside Virginia oystermen in Kegotank Bay, near Gargatha Inlet and was generally pleased with the day's work. The two watermen had been picking up clumps of oysters, breaking them apart with culling hammers and saving the prime ones in wire baskets. Having finished the last few photos of them off loading the oysters, I began to pack up my camera and audio gear when I caught another oyster picker out of the corner of my eye. He was celebrating a 4 bushel day (at $50 per bushel) with a Colt 45. His wonderful demeanor, working man's wardrobe and the nice late afternoon light made for a great combination.